kids growing up in Canada, Ohio State sophomore forward Matt Beaudoin
dreamed of playing in the NHL. And, like most kids growing up
in Canada, he thought playing major junior hockey was the best
way to get there.
Quebec, pretty much everyone was hoping to play major junior,”
said Beaudoin, who hails from Rock Forest, a town of 55,000 located
about 30 minutes north of the Vermont-Quebec border. “I
didn’t know anything else.”
hopes were dashed six years ago when he wasn’t picked in
the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s annual entry draft.
With his primary option blocked, the then-15-year-old was forced
to reassess his future. It was around that same time that he met
a fellow Quebecois who had played at Brown.
that point, I realized that school was an option, too,”
Beaudoin said. “I wasn’t really ready for major junior,
so I took a year to play junior A and think about what I was going
BO-dway) lit up the junior A ranks, scoring 60 points in 32 games
for the Lennoxville Cougars of the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League
in 2001-02 and scoring 69 points for the British Columbia Hockey
League’s Cowichan Valley Capitals the following season.
He committed to Ohio State in January 2003 and originally intended
to start his college career this season, but enrolled a year early
after Ryan Kesler signed with the Vancouver Canucks.
a promising end to his freshman season – nine of his 14
points as a rookie came in OSU’s last nine games –
Beaudoin got off to a shaky start this year. He missed the team’s
first two games due to injury and entered the holiday break with
steady-but-unspectacular totals of five goals and three assists
in 16 games.
the break, Beaudoin approached coach John Markell and the Buckeyes’
coaching staff with a suggestion he thought would boost the team’s
role before Christmas on the power play was more on the point,”
Beaudoin explained. “I went up to the coaches and said,
‘If you want to try something new, I would feel good if
you tried me in the slot instead of at the point. That’s
my spot, and I think I can help the team this way.’”
done more than help. In the Buckeyes’ 14 games since Christmas,
Beaudoin has scored 13 goals – 10 on the power play –
and added five assists. The CCHA Offensive Player of the Month
in January leads the conference and ranks third nationally with
12 power play goals, and the team currently ranks fifth in the
nation with a 23.4 percent success rate. More importantly, Ohio
State is 11-2-1 during that span and has crept to within one point
of first-place Michigan in the league standings.
power play unit has been working pretty well,” said Beaudoin,
part of Ohio State’s first group along with forwards JB
Bittner, Andrew Schembri, Tom Fritsche and defenseman Kyle Hood.
“I’m focusing more on the slot area and I’m
getting a lot more chances down low.
don’t want to make moves…I just want to shoot the
puck. I know what to do in the slot, and lately it’s been
going pretty well for me.”
With four games remaining in the regular season, the Buckeyes
are a virtual lock for the NCAA Tournament and harbor hopes of
overtaking Michigan and winning their first CCHA regular season
title since 1972. Needless to say, Beaudoin feels pretty good
about the path he chose.
lot of my friends right now, they’re playing major junior
and they look at me and they realize I made a wise move,”
Beaudoin said. “A lot of my friends wish they would have
done the same thing.”
AND HEARD IN THE CCHA
BGSU's MS Awareness Weekend: When Jordan Sigalet announced
in December that he had multiple sclerosis, the Bowling Green
senior goaltender said he hoped coming forward would help raise
awareness of the disease. This weekend, he’s getting some
help with that endeavor.
In conjunction with their series against Western Michigan, the
Falcons are holding MS Awareness Weekend at the BGSU Ice Arena.
Among the events planned are a charity raffle and auction featuring
items signed by Sigalet and former Bowling Green All-American
Rob Blake and the annual “Skate With the Falcons”
Sunday. All proceeds from the weekend will be donated to the MS
While raising money is a plus, Sigalet believes tuning people
into the facts regarding multiple sclerosis, an inflammatory disease
of the central nervous system, is just as important.
“I want to show people that it’s not the end of the
world. You can keep living your life the way you have even though
you have MS,” Sigalet said. “Everyone thinks it’s
the same with everybody – that if you have MS, it’s
going to affect you the same as someone else. It’s such
an unpredictable disease. A lot of people don’t know that.”
Sigalet says that the feedback he received after his announcement
has been phenomenal. He was flooded with e-mails and letters from
well-wishers, and the college hockey community has also reached
out – he’s received cards signed by players at Boston
College and Michigan and just last week, Nebraska-Omaha sent him
an autographed Mavericks sweater complete with his name and number.
“It’s such a huge sigh of relief after having that
hidden for so long,” Sigalet explained. “The only
people I could talk to about it were the people that knew about
it. Now that everybody knows, it makes it so much easier.”
As important as MS Awareness Weekend is to Sigalet, he hasn’t
forgotten about the other business at hand – namely, sweeping
Western Michigan and continuing a march toward a home-ice berth
in the first round of the conference playoffs. As his college
career winds down, the Surrey, B.C., native is honored to have
played a role in the Falcons’ growth under coach Scott Paluch.
“It’s really exciting to see the improvement every
year,” Sigalet said. “It’s a place where people
want to come now because they see the drastic improvements. I
wish I had a few more years, because [the program] is on the rise
Fort Wayne's World: The odds of Notre Dame getting
a sniff of the NCAA Tournament this season are longer than the
punch line of a Dennis Miller joke, but coach Dave Poulin is readying
his team for that experience in the future. That’s why the
Fighting Irish have already played two neutral-site games this
season. Friday’s contest against Michigan at the Allen County
War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind. – technically,
it’s a Notre Dame home game – is the team’s
final neutral-ice foray of the regular season for the Irish.
“It prepares you for [NCAA] Regional-type atmospheres,”
said Poulin, whose team last month visited Green Bay, Wis., to
face Michigan Tech and met Wisconsin in Rosemont, Ill. “We’re
going to have close to 11,000 people in Fort Wayne.”
Indeed, nearly 8,000 tickets have been sold for the game, believed
to be the first college hockey match played in Fort Wayne. Coliseum
general manager Randy Brown told the South Bend Tribune
that he expects a sellout, and hopes a successful showing serves
as a springboard for Fort Wayne to someday host an NCAA regional.
like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval for getting a regional
bid,” Brown told Tribune writer Steve Lowe. “It
says a lot about the [Fort Wayne] marketplace. We have hockey
vs. Notre Dame
(Fri. at Fort Wayne, Ind.)
Given the outcomes of the two previous games between
the Wolverines and Fighting Irish – Michigan won by
6-1 and 8-0 scores in December – this one could be
lopsided. The most compelling reason to attend is the opportunity
to visit Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Dedicated in
1952, the arena was renovated three years ago but still
maintains much of its old school charm.
you’re there: More like while you’re on the
way there. Keeping the War Memorial Coliseum theme in mind,
track down comedian George Carlin’s classic monologue
comparing baseball and football and download the bit to
a CD or iPod (legally, of course). Even if the game is a
rout, you’ll still be chuckling in the third period.
An era came to an end last
week as Pride on Ice, the Minnesota hockey fan Web
site, went dark after two national titles, endless
North Dakota jokes and who-knows-how-many lamentations about
Adam Hauser’s play. INCH will always owe a debt of
gratitude to the POIer’s, who were quick to embrace
our fledgling site when we launched in October 2002. But,
is still up and running.
the whole premise of the power play to put the penalized
team at a disadvantage? In most cases it is, unless you’re
playing Western Michigan. The Broncos,
who gave up three shorthanded goals in last weekend’s
tie and loss at Northern Michigan, have allowed shorties
in five straight games.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• The CCHA will partner with the WCHA and
three Fox Sports Net affiliates next month to provide
combined coverage of the championship tournaments in both leagues.
‘Breakaway Hockey Weekend’, the effort meshes Fox
Sports Net Detroit’s coverage of the CCHA Super Six and
Fox Sports Net North’s coverage of the WCHA Final Five with
the addition of studio show produced by Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain.
The programming begins on Friday, March 18, with semifinal games
in both leagues and concludes Saturday, March 19, with the CCHA
and WCHA championship matches.
times for the CCHA and WCHA contests will be staggered in order
to allow viewers in other markets to look in on action from the
other conference. For example, Fox Sports Net Detroit viewers
will see the CCHA Super Six in its entirety. Prior to and following
games from Joe Louis Arena, the CCHA markets will watch the WCHA
game in progress.
DirecTV and Dish Network subscribers are quick to point out that,
thanks to the satellite and a quick remote hand, they've looked
in on games in other markets for years.
About a month ago after a pair of losses at Michigan ran his team’s
winless streak to eight games, Alaska-Fairbanks coach
Tavis McMillan told a collection of reporters not to write off
the Nanooks. Since that night in Ann Arbor, Alaska-Fairbanks
is 5-1-2 in its last eight games, the latest victories coming
last weekend when the Nanooks swept Michigan State for the first
time in school history.
two league series remaining – UAF ends the season with a
non-conference set with Alaska Anchorage – the Nanooks are
tied for fifth in the CCHA standings. More important, with games
remaining against the team immediately behind it (Miami, this
weekend) and in front of it (Nebraska-Omaha, next weekend), they
control their own destiny in the chase for a home series in the
first round of the league playoffs.
Last weekend’s trek to the Last Frontier was hardly pleasant
for Michigan State, but the Spartans broke a school record
in Friday’s overtime loss to Alaska-Fairbanks when
forwards David Booth and Bryan Lerg scored five seconds apart
in the third period. The previous mark was set nearly 18 years
ago when Bruce Rendall and Bill Shibicky scored six seconds apart
against Ohio State on Feb. 21, 1987.
Saturday’s win at Nebraska-Omaha was coach Red Berenson’s
555th behind the Michigan bench. He enters the Wolverines’
weekend series with Notre Dame tied for eighth place on the all-time
wins list with another Great Lakes State hockey legend, John MacInnes
of Michigan Tech.
Ferris State looked as if it was poised to mount a second-half
charge after winning the Badger Hockey Showdown at the
end of December and splitting a road series at Ohio State to start
January. The Bulldogs followed that promising stretch with an
0-6-2 mark in their next eight outings before sweeping Notre Dame
at the Joyce Center last weekend. The eight-game winless streak
was FSU’s longest since the 1991-92 campaign, when the Bulldogs
were 0-4-4 between Nov. 23, 1991-Jan. 10, 1992.
A pair of CCHA goaltenders currently lead the preliminary
fan balloting for the 2005 Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
Northern Michigan’s Tuomas Tarkki is in first place, roughly
5,200 votes in front of Jordan Sigalet of Bowling Green. Two other
CCHA players are among the top 10 vote-getters – Western
Michigan forward Brent Walton (seventh) and NMU defenseman Nathan
Oystrick (tenth). Fan balloting ends March 6.
A variety of sources were utilized in the compilation of this